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Parents decide whether or not to vaccinate

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BATON ROUGE - With the beginning of the school year quickly approaching, some parents will have to decide whether or not they'll fully vaccinate their children.

The Department of Health and Hospitals says it's the law, but parents have the right to opt out for religious or philosophical reasons.

Doctor Stephanie Cave has studied the effects of vaccinations for years and said she thinks a blanket approach to vaccination is wrong.

"I'm not saying don't give vaccines, I'm not an anti-vaccinationist," Cave told News 2, "but I think we need to use our heads and look at the child and look at the parents and get a history and find out if there may be a problem with one or more of the vaccines."

Infants receive immunization shots days after birth, and shots continue years after they're born. Dr. Cave doesn't start the vaccination process until four months after a child is born, then further vaccines are injected months later, based on the child's reaction.

"If we give 10 to 12 vaccines on one day, and they have a reaction to one of them, we don't know what they're having a reaction to. Even the Center for Disease Control has said that possibly every infant is not ready for all of the vaccines we give on one day," Cave said.

But Dr. Frank Welch, DHH Immunization medical director, said vaccinations are the most important public health intervention in history.

'If we stop vaccinating, these diseases would very quickly come back," Welch said.

Cave says he warns parents against following what he calls non-scientific and speculative sources of information.

""If we stop vaccinating... measles would become the number one cause of mortality in children probably within 8 to 10 years," he said.


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